A lady never tells but a man should NEVER ask.

oh no you didn'tTHE WORST HAS HAPPENED.

OK, so it’s not the ACTUAL worst in terms of serious life stuff. But it wouldn’t sound quite so catchy if I’d started with ‘the two hundredth worst thing has happened!’

But in girl terms, it truly is the worst, with second place going to when you’re feeling smug in the pub as you catch a table of men staring at you only to have one of them tell you that you have your skirt tucked into your knickers, third place going to falling flat on your face in a busy shopping centre while on your own and fourth place being snapped up by when you sneeze and a little trump pops out and someone notices. (Not that that ever happens, obviously.)

And the winner is…

A man asked me if I was pregnant.

And I am not.

Yep, he broke the number one most important rule of interaction between men and women – never ask a woman if she’s pregnant just in case she’s not.

Which I am not.

I glared at him in horror then checked down at my stomach. I was aware that I’d put on a little travelling weight over the months, but I didn’t realise it was enough for someone to assume I had a small human growing inside of me.

“No I’m not!” I replied hastily, not knowing whether to laugh or to cry. (Naturally I opted for the latter.)

“I’m so sorry,” his eyes grew wide as he realised he’d offended me.

And weirder still, he continued:

“I didn’t mean to offend you, it’s just, I’ve been watching you (SORRY, WHAT NOW?!) and I noticed that you always have your hand on your stomach.”

So now I was a fatty with a stalker.

Once the man had finished apologising profusely, and I’d given him a heads up never to ask a woman that ever again, I decided to put it down to being a big offensive misunderstanding. I mean, it was that or crying myself into an oblivion of starvation, and I was really looking forward to whole load of ice cream.

But it did get me asking a lotta questions. And a lotta questions about the questions it got me asking.

Like, what business was it of his to ask? What difference would it have made to him even if my answer had been yes? Why had a stranger recognised the way I hold myself? What if I’m one of those people that thinks they’re really thin when in reality they’re absolutely not?

He’d asked me one single question to which had left me questioning my weight, my posture, my image, his social skills, why his mother hadn’t advised him of things never to say, of how my reaction reflected my personal body insecurities, of any time it’s ever OK to tell someone you’ve been watching them, on whether he was weird, or perhaps I was weird, or maybe we were just from two completely different worlds.

Just three little words caused all of these thoughts and feelings to shoot through me. These words were so innocently uttered but so powerful and affecting and irretrievable.

This man was never to know what thoughts his innocent question would provoke in my mind, and if he did he’d probably be shocked and apologise, again.

In a life where “I love you” can mean so much, that “I’m sorry” can bring such relief, that “I’ll miss you” can be so warming and that “I hate you” can hurt like hell, our words should always be spoken carefully, and made certain that they are fully meant before they leave our dangerous lips.

But, if there’s one thing that should never pass, whether you’ve thought about it carefully or not, and that’s to ask a woman if she’s pregnant, just in case she isn’t.

Which, to confirm, I am not.

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Women. Men. Aliens. Etc.

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I’m starting to realise that us females are all so alike, it’s kind of terrifying.

There I am in the office, doing what I think is ‘whispering’ about having to remind my boyfriend that it’s the anniversary of our first date next week (I know, right? They don’t write that stuff down?) And that he was then all like ‘that’s a thing?’ and that I had to tell him that ‘yes, it’s quite the thing actually’ and that ‘I suppose I’ll have to organise it all as usual’ and ‘oh yes by the way, a card wouldn’t go a miss’ – with a side note of ‘not that it will be very meaningful now that I’ve had to suggest it’.

Yep, that conversation, I’m sure you know it inside out, plus swear words, and the rest.

I heard a response over the desk to my not so whispery whisper, ‘yep, I’m afraid nothing changes, and that’s after 20 years.’ Great.

A further response – a male voice. Here we go. ‘Yeah, my girlfriend makes all these things into ‘things’ too, surely that’s just what you do when you’re married? And that won’t be happening.’ Charming.

And the debate picked up, one by one across the office, the women all rolly eyed with tuts and sighs while the male head shakes were tied with ‘I don’t get its’ and ‘how are we supposed to know thats’.

And then we all laughed at the sound of ourselves, as it was all so funny because it was all so true and we are all just so alike and so similarly different to men.

So sometimes, we don’t want to ask something because we feel like we shouldn’t have to. And then we get angry when our minds haven’t been read and the thing we decided not to ask hasn’t happened.

So sometimes, we make up a perfect scenario in our minds, again expecting our better lesser equal halves to become Derren Brown for the evening and we then proceed to be disappointed when the plan that we failed to share didn’t play out quite as we’d imagined.

So sometimes, we wake up in the morning and we’re just in a bad mood. We could have won the lottery or be lying next to [place appropriate hot celebrity crush here] and it wouldn’t change a thing. This mood occurs for no reason, and with no explanation, whatsover, but we’re just in need of a mini pity party and some sympathy and probably a few hours of guilt free shopping to numb the random sorrow, and a little cry – yep, still for no reason – all without being looked at like we’ve a) escaped from a mental asylum, b) have grown an extra head, or c) both. And, before you know it, we’ll be right as rain again, wondering if everyone else’s moods can change quicker than you can say ‘for your own safety don’t speak to me right now,’ or if we should in fact be thinking seriously about giving that mental asylum a call.

Because that’s just what we do, sometimes.

And I must admit, putting it all down into words can make a girl question her own sanity slightly, and can also make her confess that in the tiniest way we might just be a little bit of hard work and probably a weeny bit confusing. But, it would appear that we’re loved and accepted all the same – I mean, it’s endearing, right?

Then, on overhearing a taxi driver’s phone conversation, it struck me that, despite everything, there’s really only one thing that men will never accept or tolerate about us, and that’s our intolerance of the ‘F’ word…

‘Football’, that is:

“She wants me to come over tonight, but the Arsenal game’s on. I know, she’s crazy isn’t she! They just don’t get it.”